There’s a reason songs about Mondays tend to be downers.
Monday blues—that inertia people feel about starting the work week after a weekend—are one of the more common problems among working people. In a 2021 poll by YouGov, 58% of the 4,000 people surveyed responded that Monday was their least favorite day of the week. Now, a new way of dealing with that problem is one of the latest workplace trends—and one that’s not likely to make businesses happy.
“Bare Minimum Mondays” are a version of the Monday blues, with potential ramifications to employee productivity and the employer-employee equation. It’s a practice where employees show up to work to only do the bare minimum on a Monday, often starting the day late after a productive morning of self-care rituals.
This term has been popularized by Marisa Jo, a TikToker, who describes it as a way for her to quell the work pressure and hold herself accountable to “completing the least amount of work necessary to get by that day.”
Jo’s videos about the work trend have gone viral on TikTok, with her most recent video posted last week getting over 670,000 views. In that video, Jo walks through some of her habits to slow down Mondays and do things that make her feel good. She has a dedicated playlist to the so-called “bare minimum Mondays,” and the hashtag #bareminimummondays has about 1.8 million views.
In a video she described the trend as “rejection of all the pressure I felt on Sunday and Monday” and prioritizing well-being over productivity instead of giving in to the hustle culture.
“I had to tell myself to do the bare minimum in order to not make myself sick over how productive I was being,” she says in the video.
Jo compares the practice to a trend like quiet quitting, where employees silently retreat from their work after doing the base level of tasks to focus on their personal lives. She adopted bare minimum Mondays to cope with the pressure of being productive at work everyday and going the extra mile with work-related to-dos.
Jo’s viral trend is just the latest in the long list of new trends shaping the workplace in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prolonged lockdowns and a sudden shift to work-from-home culture saw many employees overwork, burn out, and quit their jobs in droves, marking the Great Resignation. Even though much of business began trickling back to normal in 2022, Jill Cotton, a career trends expert at Glassdoor, pointed out that burnout hit record numbers last year.
“This means that despite all the changes, despite more flexibility, more remote work, we’re not getting that work-life balance right,” she told Fortune. “When we look at what it is that employees and workers really want at the moment, it’s autonomy.”
Offshoots of the quiet quitting trend like resenteeism and chaotic working have caught on across the world, so much so that it warranted a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month. Experts said that such trends reflect a changing relationship between employees and their companies, and could be a result of a workplace in need of repair.
“A lot of great employees will be productive when their companies set them up for success,” Cotton said. “I think that it’s less about the bare minimum Mondays having an impact on productivity and more about employees and employers working together to create the most productive workplace possible.”
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